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A lucid, crucial exposé of the pervasive roots of Imperial racism and the urgent, on-going need to decolonise - “racism is a matter of life and death”
Kehinde Andrews’ The New Age of Empire is an urgent, incisive analysis of the origins of Western Imperialism that lays bare its continued racist legacy. Pointing out that “we urgently need to destroy the myth that the West was founded on the three great revolutions of science, industry and politics”, the author makes a powerful argument for the need to “trace how genocide, slavery and colonialism are the key foundation stones upon which West was built.” Indeed, Andrews discusses how the West concocted scientific theories designed to “prove” its superiority, and shows how the Enlightenment provided “the intellectual basis for Western imperialism.” The chapter covering Kant’s “racial logic” is especially mind-blowing on this.
While we might live in a different age, centuries-old ideologies run deep in what the author terms today’s “new age of Empire”, with their legacies persisting in the form of racial capitalism, colonial nostalgia (as exemplified by Trump’s “make America great again” slogan and Brexit’s promise to “take back control”), racial patriarchy, and the fallacy of post-racialism - “the delusion that we have moved beyond racism, that we are in a post-racial society.” This is a major, vital point - how can we truly obliterate racism if we pretend it’s been overcome? Answer: we cannot. In the author’s words, “As long as we delude ourselves with rebranding and tinkering at the margins we will never be able to address the issue of racism.”
Framing some arguments in the context of COVID-19 (“the delusions of all being in it together, or that viruses do not discriminate, quickly fell apart as the evidence began to show that Covid-19 simply laid bare existing social inequalities”), and drawing on historic, scientific, philosophical, political and economic discourse, this debunks myths, challenges misplaced self-congratulation and is, quite simply, a must-read, wake-up call.
The New Age of Empire takes us back to the beginning of the European Empires, outlining the deliberate terror and suffering wrought during every stage of the expansion, and destroys the self-congratulatory myth that the West was founded on the three great revolutions of science, industry and politics. Instead, genocide, slavery and colonialism are the key foundation stones upon which the West was built, and we are still living under this system today: America is now at the helm, perpetuating global inequality through business, government, and institutions like the UN, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.
The West is rich because the Rest is poor. Capitalism is racism. The West congratulations itself on raising poverty by increments in the developing world while ignoring the fact that it created these conditions in the first place, and continues to perpetuate them. The Enlightenment, which underlies every part of our foundational philosophy today, was and is profoundly racist. This colonial logic was and is used to justify the ransacking of Black and brown bodies and their land. The fashionable solutions offered by the white Left in recent years fall far short of even beginning to tackle the West's place at the helm of a racist global order.
Offering no easy answers, The New Age of Empire is essential reading to understand our profoundly corrupt global system. A work of essential clarity, The New Age of Empire is a groundbreaking new blueprint for taking Black Radical thought into the twenty-first century and beyond.
|Publication date:||4th February 2021|
|Publisher:||Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
Closing date: 23/05/2021
Kehinde Andrews shines a light on the truth of our past and in doing so lights the way forward. Essential reading -- Owen Jones
Uncompromising and intelligent. Kehinde is taking the conversation deeper and further - exactly where it needs to go. -- Jeffrey Boakye
Professor Andrews never misses. And this is a compelling account of European Empires and the cost of their plunder -- Nikesh Shukla
An uncompromising account of the roots of racism today -- Kimberle Crenshaw
Skillfully interweaving economics, politics, and history to debunk popular narratives of social progress, this searing takedown hits home - Publisher's Weekly
This book is a radical, necessary indictment of the racist structures that produced the current anti-Black world order. Historically rigorous and deeply researched, Kehinde Andrews writes with lucidity about the global tactics of Western imperialism, centuries ago and at present. His clear-eyed analysis insists upon the revolutionary acts of freedom we will need to break out of these systems of violence -- Ibram X. Kendi
Professor Andrews takes the reader on a journey, and it isn't a comfortable one. I challenge you to pick up this book and read it carefully, once that is done, I am sure the reader will be challenged, in thinking and hopefully actions moving forward. -- Dawn Butler
Kehinde is a leader and a teacher who puts the Black Lives Matter movement into its historical and global context and explains persuasively how it could shape our future. If you want to get beyond gestures and slogans and to the truth this is the book to get you there -- Russell Brand
This book is a provocation. It is not meant to make us comfortable or inspired, but rather to remind us of the hard truth that the West was built on slavery, genocide, and colonialism-the bases of racial capitalism and modern empire. And as Kehinde Andrews argues, we are still living this imperial nightmare, still reaping the consequences of contemporary racialized violence and exploitation. The lesson: no freedom under racism, no future under capitalism, no justice without decolonization. -- Robin Kelley
Kehinde Andrews is a crucial voice walking in a proud tradition of Black radical criticism and action -- Akala
Dr. Kehinde Andrews is Associate Professor in Sociology at the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University and developed the Europe s first Black Studies undergraduate degree. He is also director of the Centre for Critical Social Research, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity, and co-chair of the Black Studies Association.More About Kehinde Andrews